Fake It ’til You Make It: Football Watching Etiquette

By Rebecca Mathison, Guest Blogger

Truth: I haven’t been a sincere football fan my entire life like some people I know. My passion for the sport came on in college therefore I myself have broken some of the rules I’m about to share with you. PLEASE learn from my mistakes and be a joy and not a bother to be around on Sunday for the big game. While the Super Bowl has become more of a social gathering than a sports watching gathering in many circles, don’t irritate those who actually want to watch the game. When in doubt, just fake it. Pick a team…see who at the party is pulling for that team…then cheer when they cheer. It’s that easy. Here are some other rules for the day to make sure you get invited back next year:

There are strategies to watching the game as well as playing in it. (Prixel Creative/Shutterstock.com)

Rule 1:

         Don’t Say “I’m just here for the commercials” 

There’s a game going on. The coveted commercial slot wouldn’t exist without the game. Even if it is true, don’t say it.

         DO Say “I’m excited for the commercials”

Most people, even the fans of the teams playing, are excited to see the commercials. Feel free to comment on the commercials during the commercials or with your non-football fanatic friends during the game as long as your not distracting, but don’t draw attention to yourself for not liking football. It’d be like going to a library and shouting, “I’m not here to read books! I just like to look at the colorful book covers.” It isn’t cute.

Rule 2:

         Don’t Ask Questions After Each Play 

Nobody will want to sit next to you if you ask questions after each play. Football does have a lot of tedious rules, but most of them you don’t need to know to really enjoy the game for one day, so trust me…don’t ask.

         DO Listen and Ask GOOD Questions

Football commentators and the refs actually do a really good job of explaining the game if you listen. That’s 90% of how I learned football. 10% WAS asking questions but 90% was just listening. Do what I did and just react the same way people who like your team react–if they’re excited, you’re excited…if they’re mad at call, you’re mad at call. The emotional cues are a good start for learning what happened.

         Don’t Talk About Your Dietary Issues

You’re on a diet? Great. Don’t eat the fatty foods. Eat something healthy that you brought. The Super Bowl is a time for fatty junk foods and football. Not time to talk about allergens,  fad diets, and whatever else that keeps you from diving into the snack table.

         DO Eat What You Can and Have Fun

If somebody comments on your eating habits, simply say, “Oh, I’m gluten free these days so I’ll stick to what I brought! Thanks though,” and move on. Same goes for if you’re on a diet of some sort. Discuss these things at another time. Being a “Food Bummer” when people are trying to pig out isn’t cool.

Rule 4: HAVE FUN

The Super Bowl comes but once a year. Once a year you get too see two of the greatest teams in the league go head to head with the eyes of the nation upon them…and once a year you get a half time show that usually produces something interesting to talk about around the water cooler the next day. So PLEASE follow my rules or at least keep them in mind during the game on Sunday! Neither of my teams are in it, so I’m just watching for the commercials :) Just kidding! (GO San Fran!)

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